performance space drawing by Lin Hixson
It's Shifting, Hank addresses
themes generated by the question, "Why were you in pain in such a beautiful place?" The piece takes as its starting point the difficulty of breathing, as the performers
hold their breath for long periods of time, help one another to exhale, or repeat
a line of dialogue on a single breath until the breath runs out. Movement sequences
combine post-punk rock music, creating complex anti-dance choreography which
resonates with imagery of Red Cross life saving and water safety techniques.
In silence, the performers examine their own and one another's bodies in minute
medical detail. With texts drawn from the films Blackboard Jungle and To Sir,
With Love, and from the pro-Fascist Radio Rome broadcasts of the American poet
Ezra Pound, the piece presents racial intolerance as a repressive response to
illness. The last part of the piece concerns itself with mortality, eroticism,
and the human gesture of care. Simple physical tasks push the endurance level
of the performers to the point of collapse. A final staging of the drowning
scene from the film Sometimes A Great Notion cross-cut with dialogue from
transcripts of a near-mystical deathbed vision and with original writing,
concludes this work.
Created by: Karen Christopher, Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixson (director),
Greg McCain, Timothy McCain.
Commissioned by: Ferens Live Art Space (Hull, UK)